The Empty Centre
My practice centers around challenges and burdens imposed by history. In 2017, during my first extended visit to Britain in several decades, I saw my land of origin with foreign eyes and also with a native’s concern. As the country and its leaders wrestled with the absurdity of Brexit, the burned-out Grenfell tower stood as an indelible symbol of a social fabric shredded by bonanza capitalism, de-industrialization, and the politics of division.
The brittle glitz of provincial British city-centres, pretentious and socially bereft, seems to factor into and at the same time image these discontents. After WW2, bomb damage was used as a pretext to replace organic communities with destinations: roads, parking structures, office blocks, and shopping-centres. At night the emptiness of these developments registers clearly. I photographed areas where this process has played out in seventeen cities.